Ah, the off season. The temp turns cold (at least here in Northern North America) and we hang up our swimsuits and bike shoes for a little bit, lest we freeze our delicate triathlete balls off.
But while I may now be spending my weekend mornings sitting on the couch eating my weight in peanut butter out of the jar, that doesn’t mean that races aren’t still happening. Thanks to Ironman Corp, ambitious triathletes with deep wallets can globe-trot and race year-round, while many pros with less-than-deep wallets choose to forgo much of an off-season so that they can, you know, afford to eat.
Which brings us to this weekend’s 70.3’s: Los Cabos, Miami, and Turkey.
IM 70.3 Turkey
Brit Harry Wiltshire is a familiar face to see coming out of the water first – he completed the swim in 20:54, 10 seconds ahead of Frederik Van Lierde. After losing time in T1, Van Lierde was able to take control on the relatively flat single-loop bike course, putting 57 seconds on a chase pack of 6 (led by German Patrick Lange) by 34km. Van Lierde had increased his lead to over 2 minutes by the turnaround point, with (surprise) a slew of Germans (Marcus Herbst, Patrick Lange, Paul Schuster) still chasing. Van Lierde was first off the bike in 2:11:51, and seemed to have things relatively in the bag, as Schuster followed him onto the run course almost 5 minutes behind. Which still left ze Germans to battle it out for the rest of the podium spots. Van Lierde ended up winning the inaugural Turkey 70.3 in 3:53:48, followed by Paul Schuster (2nd, 3:57:53) and Patrick Lange (3rd, 3:59:50).
If you were a woman with a pro card in Turkey today, the race was…less exciting, with age groupers mixing it up in the top 10 throughout the race. So super exciting if you were a decent age grouper. Melda Fatma Idrsoglu (Turkey) led the women’s swim in 22:58. Probably the most familiar name was Caroline Livesy, who at 34km was the 2nd pro but 7th overall. Maybe those age groupers should be forced to take their pro cards? Or maybe some pro cards should be taken away? I’m staying out of this one. All you need to know is that Alexandra Tondeur and Livesy battled it out throughout the bike and run, until eventually Gurutze Frades (ESP) worked herself into the mix. Tondeur, a 2nd year pro from France, got her first 70.3 win in 4:26:39, followed by Frades (4:28:41) and Livesy (4:34:34).
IM 70.3 Miami
Cam Dye took the men out on the swim, followed in short order by Michael Raelert, Marko Albert, Andrew Yoder and Paul Matthews – but the highlight of the day occurred out on the bike course, with the actual Starykowicz taking over and posting a 1:56 bike split, giving him a 5 minute lead coming out of T2. However, Raelert quickly made up time, reducing Starykowicz’s lead to just +1:34 3.3 miles in, and taking over the lead at mile 6. Raelert ran past Starky for the win in 3:43:23.
- Michael Raelert – 3:43:23 (21:23/2:01:56/1:17:46)
- Andrew Starykowicz – 3:45:52 (22:10/1:56:11/1:25:18)
- Santiago Ascenco – 3:48:47 (23:58/2:05:38/1:16:46)
Sarah Haskins – returning from an injury that sidelined much of her early season – started off with a bang, first out of the water alongside Jen Spieldenner, and the next pair of ladies – Leanda Cave and Moreno – 1:22 back. Not much shuffling occurred on the bike, with Haskins coming off still in the lead, followed by Spieldenner, Kristen Marchant, and Cave. Haskins continued to open up her lead on the run, while Cave got past Marchant and Spieldenner to claim 2nd. Also moving up on the run was Michaela Herlbauer, who rounded out the podium, and Lesley Smith, finishing in 4th place.
- Sarah Haskins – 4:12:57 (22:39/2:18:50/1:28:43)
- Leanda Cave – 4:18:32 (24:01/2:22:06/1:29:42)
- Michaela Herlbauer – 4:19:41 (25:01/2:26:20/1:25:31)
— Andrew Starykowicz (@starykowicz) October 25, 2015
IM 70.3 Los Cabos
Over on the west coast, a $50,000 prize purse had attracted some heavy hitters coming off strong 70.3 seasons (Magali Tisseyre, Cody Beals), Kona DNFs (Amanda Stevens), and late night drinking episodes (Bryan Rhodes). The men’s field stayed tight through the swim, with 6 seconds separating the top 3 (Davide Giardini, Brian Fleischmann, James Hadley), and another trifecta following them into T1 30 seconds later (Leon Griffin, Francisco Serrano, Bryan Rhodes). Giardini then put together an impressive 56 miles on the hilly course, coming off the bike 1:30 ahead of a chase pack of Matt Lieto, Serrano, Cody Beals, Hadley, Chris Leiferman, and Fleischmann – all into T2 within 18 seconds of each other. The order shook up quickly, with Serrano taking the lead, and Hadley, Leiferman, and Beals going by Giardini early on. Beals ultimately outran Leiferman to take the 3rd slot, while Americans Leiferman, Matt Lieto, Chris Baird, and Chris Bagg followed in 4th-7th.
- Francisco Serrano – 4:02:46 (26:23/2:14:47/1:19:07)
- James Hadley – 4:03:45 (25:49/2:15:18/1:19:57)
- Cody Beals – 4:06:29 (28:00/2:13:04/1:22:47)
Brianna Baird and Amanda Stevens set themselves up with a nice 48 second lead over Magali Tisseyre coming out of the swim, although it wasn’t enough to hold off Tisseyre on the bike – Magali came off the bike with a three and a half minute lead over Carrie Lester (coming off a huge win at IM Chattanooga) and Melanie McQuaid another 4 minutes back in 3rd. Tisseyre put additional time on Lester over the course of the next 13.1, winning handily in 4:24:28. McQuaid faded to 4th after Ricarda Lisk outran her by 10 minutes to round out the podium.
- Magali Tisseyre – 4:24:28 (28:39/2:26:30/1:26:29)
- Carrie Lester – 4:31:45 (29:02/2:29:33/1:30:21)
- Ricarda Lisk – 4:36:34 (28:49/2:37:20/1:27:27)